Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch - BY DAR­REN DEV­LYN

WALLY Lewis is a gi­ant of Aus­tralian sport. He cap­tained Queens­land in 30 rugby league State of Ori­gin matches, which makes him some­thing of an ex­pert when it comes to the tem­per­a­ment re­quired to suc­ceed in high-pres­sure sit­u­a­tions.

How­ever, the Chan­nel 9 com­men­ta­tor has had more than his share of bat­tles.

When he had an epilep­tic seizure live on air in 2006, his world came crash­ing down around him.

The med­i­cal con­di­tion he’d spent two decades hid­ing from the pub­lic was bru­tally ex­posed. It seemed the only so­lu­tion was one that ter­ri­fied him— brain surgery.

He had the surgery in 2007 and it was a tough road to re­cov­ery. Lewis ad­mit­ted he was in the depths of de­spair and had sui­ci­dal thoughts while try­ing to get his life back to­gether. Those who know Lewis well say he emerged from the pe­riod a more com­pas­sion­ate, pa­tient and hum­ble per­son. How’s your health? Pretty good. It’s been six years, three months and two weeks (since surgery). It seems pretty re­mark­able you can quote that in years, months and weeks. I just re­mem­ber. I spend a lot of time speak­ing to peo­ple about epilepsy, how to deal with it and which way they can go (with treat­ment). What doesNSWneed to do to break Queens­land’s win­ning streak? The Blues have got a great side. And Lau­rie Da­ley will bring great ex­pe­ri­ence to the ta­ble. It’s very much a case of mak­ing things right on the night. The end re­sult is about bust­ing your butt, giv­ing your all and work­ing well as a team. What does Queens­land need to do to stay on top? Is there any dan­ger com­pla­cency could bring them un­done? Mal Meninga (coach) has been spend­ing time with some of the (younger) blokes mak­ing sure they un­der­stand ex­actly what State of Ori­gin is all about. You’ve got to re­mem­ber, when I was grow­ing up, you’d be happy if Queens­land scored (in an ori­gin game). You cer­tainly never ex­pected them to win. So what is your pre­dic­tion for the se­ries? It’s a waste of time ask­ing me for an un­bi­ased pre­dic­tion. In the his­tory of the game I’ve never tipped any other way, nor will I now. Rugby League State of Ori­gin: Game 1, Chan­nel 9, to­day, 7.30pm

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